The entire travel and tourism industry is severely affected by the corona pandemic. The world has witnessed that the Corona outbreak devastated the tourism industry the most due to travel restrictions and safety measures.
Related reading: Digital marketing strategies in post Corona pandemic
How can the tourism industry revive in this post-pandemic world? Thanks to AR VR technology, a new hope to cope with the pandemic damages and huge future possibilities.
What is AR VR Technology?
AR refers to Augmented Reality. It’s a digital technology that gives you interactive perceptual information through several sensory modalities like audio-visual, haptic to your real-world while viewed through a certain device.
You can see overlaying visual contents and information related to your real-world by using an AR device.
AR devices can be 4 types –
- Head-up displays (HUDs)
- Holographic displays
- Smart glasses (optical glass or video see-through)
- Smartphone application based AR
AR device examples: Examples of AR devices include Google Lens, Microsoft’s Hololens. (Mixed reality device)
Increasing demand of AR based travel apps & games–
All of us know the example of Pokemon Go the most popular augmented reality app. Now for the commercial success of Pokemon Go, the demand of AR is increasing for travel apps as well. As per report from Statista, the Augmented Reality market across the globe is predicted to nurture from 5.91 billion to 198 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2025. According to a latest report, by 2021, there will be an estimated 1.96 billion mobile AR users worldwide. And by 2023, the number is estimated to grow to 2.4 billion mobile AR users worldwide.
Types of AR based Travel Applications
- Location based AR app that depends on GPS, accelerometer or digital compass and can be used as AR based city tours or navigational app.
- Marker based AR app – This type of AR app provides digital information about any physical object or code or printed image. Google lens is sort of similar. Example – Thomas Cook offers digital content with a marker based AR app apart from printed materials.
- Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) – The most modern technology to identify object around the user.
VR refers to Virtual Reality. It replaces your real world and provides you an immersive experience within a digitally generated environment. You can feel a complete virtual world and interact with your sensations.
VR technology is typically accomplished with the use of VR headsets or head-mounted displays (HMDs).
VR device examples: Examples of VR devices include Google’s smartphone-based cardboard, biconvex lens, HTC Vive VR headset.
How to shoot 360-degree Virtual Reality content?
- Using degrees of freedom (DOF) 3-degrees of freedom or 6 degrees of freedom in 360-degree VR
- Using direct actions and guiding cues – You can direct a user’s attention in VR to particular focus points which can help amplify their experience via visual cues or spatial audio cues.
- Shooting for 360-degree VR – One (or more) 360-degree camera (2-4 lenses), Set up equipment, Spatial audio recorder, Memory stick, Camera stand equipment (tripod, unipod, selfie stick), Drone. Few cameras are affordable, such as the Samsung Gear360 and RICOH THETA V. More professional and high quality cameras include the Kodak PIXPRO or GoPro’s Omni Rig
- Virtual reality capture methods: A. Light field capture: Unlike standard 360º video, light field video captured with Lytro Immerge allows for six degrees of motion freedom. B.Volumetric 3D capture – Volumetric VR gives you the feeling of reality. Users see scenes with three-dimensional humans. C. Photogrammetry – The fundamental principle used by photogrammetry is triangulation. By taking photographs from at least two different locations, the so-called “lines of sight” can be developed from each camera to points on the object. These lines of sight (sometimes called rays owing to their optical nature) are mathematically intersected to produce the 3-dimensional coordinates of the points of interest. Some programs like Photoscan have been made to allow people to quickly make 3D models. If you have used photogrammetry to capture a 3D model with one of the 3D scanning apps, then you can take that model and place it into a CGI environment with game engines like Unity or Unreal.
- Consider pace of movement when shooting – Ensure that you maintain a slow, constant and smooth pace throughout filming.
- Post-recording editing – Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe Ater Effects or WondaVR studio or publish via viar360
- Adding metadata – Your file must include certain metadata to enable 360-degree playback. YouTube offers a step-by-step to support
- Publishing (resolution and distribution): Most of the VR video can be published on YouTube. Standard 4K resolution for 360-degree video is 3840 x 1920. Also for best quality double check the bit rate of your original video and render it at a similar bit rate.
How AR VR Can Help Transform the Tourism Industry
The latest AR VR technology can help revive and transform the entire travel and tourism industry including travel agencies, hotels, airlines, restaurants, tourism boards, and many more.
“VR is going to change the way both many of the things we do today and some new and important areas are transformed like tourism.” – Shaun Collins, CEO – CCS Insight.
Role of AR VR Technology on Engagement and Revenue Generation in Tourism
The global hospitality and tourism industry can attract more customers and engage prospects like never before with the help of advanced AR VR technology.
VR (Virtual Reality) can immerse you within your preferred virtual place with an interactive computer-generated 3D environment. You can move, listen, feel, and smell like you are having a real taste of presence in that place. AR can give you more answers to your questions about your surrounding environment with 360- degree visual effects.
AR VR technology will help prospective customers to experience the situation in the virtual-world in more engaging ways. People will feel excited and may advertise through word of mouth.
More engagements mean more sales, and more sales equal to more revenue. The better the engagements, the bigger the revenue.
Most of the activities of the travel and tourism industry are physical and hardly scalable. AR VR is an opportunity for tourism businesses to use the digital scalability features with various revenue generation models.
Interactive Hotel Elements
AR VR can help you create trial packages to engage prospective customers as a “try before you buy” model, for example, you can create a VR tour of your hotel, and let your prospective customers take a VR tour of your hotel. Then you can convert your prospects into real physical sales of your hotel packages.
AR in Restaurant Menu
Hotel amusement for Kids
Another option is you can create a complete VR tour package of a certain place like the Taj Mahal and sell it directly to those who are not able to visit that place in real-world physically. Hence, it’s a great opportunity for both, the people who are unable to visit the place physically can experience the tour, and you can generate a profit.
You can generate unlimited revenue for your tourism business with the help of AR VR technology. Unlike physical tours, you can sell your digital tour packages to a huge audience at a time and also generate recurrent incomes for a lifetime. Once you have created your AR VR tour package, you can sell it unlimited times to unlimited customers.
Related reading: Digital marketing services for travel & tourism industries
AR VR tour packages would be less expensive for users. However, AR VR is a win-win solution for both customers and businesses.
Execution of AR VR Technology in Several Tourism Sectors
AR VR technology can be executed in several tourism sectors in many possible ways.
Historical Heritage Tours
Historical heritages are always fascinating for modern people. But it’s not possible to travel to all the historical heritage places for a single person. AR VR can be the solution.
If you are a travel company, you can create a list of AR VR historical heritages’ tour packages. Users may experience their preferred historical heritages like the real world.
You can create a ticket system to generate revenue for your VR tour packages of historical heritages.
In museums, AR VR can be used in several ways. VR museum tours package might fit for those who are not able to visit the real place. A person can experience many museums through VR museum tours.
Many museums don’t have any guidance facilities. Travelers can’t understand things properly due to lack of guidance. Augmented Reality can be used for guiding the museum more efficiently. Visitors can experience the museum more interactively.
In museums, AR guidance can be charged as a value-added service to generate more profit. Travel and tour agencies can sell VR museum tours directly to customers and monetize them.
Travel companies can create several VR honeymoon tours and can sell them to new couples who can’t afford the physical traveling cost or can use it as a trial to attract real honeymoon travelers.
Travel companies can charge a certain amount for VR honeymoon tours or can make it free for engaging real honeymoon couples.
Sports are very popular and engage a large audience. You can make VR tour packages of several famous sports stadiums or any specific tournament. You can sell it to sports lovers and make money.
Wildlife and Nature Tourism
Many people are interested in natural wildlife tours. But some places are very dangerous and highly restricted for human presence. In such cases, Virtual Reality tours are viable options. It can be safe from any unpleasant incidents.
Art Gallery Tours
Art galleries are a good fit for AR VR implications. With VR technology, you can create a whole gallery tour package while AR technology can be used for in-depth information. You can make a list of world-famous art galleries and create AR VR tour packages to generate income.
Some people are extremely curious about different types of cultures. VR cultural tours facilities may attract a large community. VR technology can help cultural tourists experience many cultures in detail with less time.
Everyone wants to experience the dangerous elegance of high-rise mountains like Everest. But everyone doesn’t have enough strength to ride mountains. VR mountain tours can help everyone to visit mountains virtually.
Kids Amusement Park Tours
It’s not possible to visit kid’s amusement parks all the time. But your kids won’t listen to your excuses. You can manage your kids by giving them an AR VR tour of their favorite park.
Off-limits areas are restricted and not allowed for all. Travel agencies can create VR tours for some off-limits areas like any military base (With proper authorized licensing from concerned authority) and generate profits.
If you are curious about architectural designs, you can take AR VR-generated architectural tours. It’s a great idea for tourism businesses to create architectural VR tour packages of some famous architectural buildings and generate revenue.
VR tourists can experience architectural designs more efficiently than actual visits, as it can cover each and every angle more profoundly.
A Few AR VR Video Examples
In the future, AR VR can make revolutionary changes in the Tourism industry. Merging AR VR technology with marketing automation may help raise the tourism industry dramatically. A company named Travel World VR launched it’s app featuring 360°/VR videos of major destinations, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and tour operators. The app is available on any smartphone free of charge.
However, it’s not possible to predict the full potentials of AR VR technology right now, but it’s very transparent to the digital world that AR VR is gonna change the overall ambiance of the tourism industry and also its economy.
Other application areas of AR/VR apart from travel & tourism
- Retail (example- trying out makeup products, clothing, shoes, new furniture, etc.).
- Automotive (example- test-driving ).
- Real Estate Sector (example- showing potential buyers around a property without leaving the office).
- Construction (example – letting customers see home improvement renovations beforehand).
- Video gaming (example – introducing products to new audiences).
- Software proof of concept examples.
- Hiring local, global and freelancers.
- Education (e.g., almost any education can adapt to AR/VR).
The impacts of AR VR technology in the tourism industry aren’t necessarily very easy to explain in a few lines. But I hope you have got an overall idea of how AR VR can improve customer engagements and revenue-generating processes in the entire tourism industry.
If you have any questions related to AR VR technology, you can connect me.
Well thought out and written article. AR- VR will play a significant role in the post covid world. With more and more people practicing social distancing AI, AR will bring far away things to our home to experience it. It will indeed be a game-changer for the tourism industry, and companies that start using it from now will enjoy the fruits shortly
Thank you Ayush
AR and VR is the future in many sectors I feel. These technologies will bring the world into our rooms. With so many applications of AR and VR it will start a new technological era. Like explained in this article the possibilities are limitless, from tourism, gaming, education and many more. With the fast-paced busy lives, these technologies will surely help to get the feel of a vacation from sitting in our rooms. A new way of learning will also help students to understand better. AR and VR is already popular in gaming for their immersive feeling.
Thank you Sukanya. Yes, there are lot of opportunities in Tourism, Gaming, Education, Real Estate & in many other industry verticals for AR, MR & VR fields.
Very well explained!